Assistant Professor, Policy Analysis and Management
The College of Human Ecology is excited to welcome new faculty member Max Kapustin, who joins the Policy Analysis and Management (PAM) department from his previous role at the University of Chicago. The following Q and A offers an opportunity to learn more about professor Kapustin, his work, and what drew him to the College.
Q: What is the primary focus of your research?
A: I research policy issues affecting low-income families, particularly low-income youth and adults in urban settings. Much of my recent work focuses on gun violence, which drives some of the most serious health disparities we see today, including a homicide mortality rate for young black men that is nearly 10 times higher than that of young white men. Disparities in access to public safety, by virtue of the neighborhood in which a person lives, are associated with multiple adverse outcomes, ranging from mortality to trauma exposure. A lot of my work focuses on ways to reduce gun violence that do not exacerbate the harms of the criminal justice system, which is the way many people traditionally think about reducing serious violence.
Q: What attracted you to Cornell’s College of Human Ecology and your department?
A: Human Ecology, and PAM specifically, have a group of truly excellent scholars who are focused on doing research with immediate applicability to some of the most pressing social challenges. Being able to conduct that kind of research in the company of such supportive and knowledgeable colleagues, and to teach the incredibly bright students that Human Ecology attracts, are what drew me here.
Q: How would you say your research is improving lives, a core mission of Human Ecology?
A: So far, my work has been focused on Chicago, where it has helped to inform local conversations about policy to reduce gun violence, including both through the design and delivery of social services, and through less harmful administration of criminal justice. My hope is that my research can contribute to reducing the public safety gap in the U.S., starting with reducing exposure to gun violence among those most affected by it, enabling people to live productive and fulfilling lives.